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Observations In Luxury

Luxury brands choosing increasingly large physical retail spaces in Europe, new report indicates

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Physical retail shops have more than just bounced back after the COVID-19 pandemic; they have also continued to flourish. This has been in large part due to the luxury goods sector pivoting its retail strategies to account for the post-COVID boom finally beginning to fade.

Just recently, we have seen prestige labels not only opening new shops, but also expanding the amount of physical space in existing ones. These enlarged footprints have enabled the brands to display a broader range of products, as well as fuel the rise of “experiential” shopping.

In May, the commercial real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield published its first report on Europe’s luxury retail scene. This revealed intriguing insights into how the above-mentioned trends have taken hold across several of the continent’s most bustling cosmopolitan cities.

More and more opportunities to pick up luxury goods in Europe

The report looks at activities of many high-end brands, including a number owned by the corporate giants LVMH, Kering, and Richemont. Among the other labels represented in the report’s findings are Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Swatch, Roberto Cavalli, Tod’s, and Ferragamo.

One notable revelation is that, between them, the brands established 107 shops across 20 of Europe’s key luxury retail arteries during 2023. These arteries, in turn, spanned 16 cities in 12 European countries — with over 60% of the new shops specialising in clothing and accessories.

Meanwhile, 20% were devoted to watches and jewellery and the others to shoes, eyewear, and other items — adding up to a varied physical retail offering that looks set to soon broaden further.

The Cushman & Wakefield study points out: “LVMH has a number of shops scheduled to open in the main luxury streets in 2024, notably for its Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Dior and Fendi brands.”

How “physical shops remain crucial to the luxury retail market”

As a UK creative agency, we are pleased to see that London opened 11 new luxury shops between Sloane Street and Bond Street in 2023 — eclipsing (at least according to Cushman & Wakefield’s data) the six openings in Milan and the three in Rome that same year.

However, Paris ultimately led the pack on this score, with the French capital setting up 25 luxe retail outlets in total. Spain also fared well, flinging open the doors of 13 new prestige stores dotted between the major cities of Madrid and Barcelona. 

The report’s authors reflect that “physical shops remain crucial to the luxury retail market, especially as brands position their shops as a place of experience.” To this end, brands have incorporated new technologies into their points of sale and turned physical outlets into event and exhibition spaces.

“Some retailers are opting to diversify locations, partly to attract younger, aspirational customers, working on brand awareness and creating opportunities to engage new customers in a deeper journey over time,” the report also observed.

Our UK creative agency can help your own prestige brand to establish the right consistent voice across multiple marketing channels — both in-person and digital varieties. To learn more about our expertise in such areas as branding, search engine optimisation (SEO), and social media, please email

Photo by Corina Constantinov on Unsplash


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